Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sarasota Herald Tribune Tale of Bounty Hunter's Gun Will Go Untold as Florida Does Not Allow Bounty Hunters.

SARASOTA HERALAD TRIBUNE by Tom Lyons, "Bounty hunter Nathan Rockwell tells me that on advice of his attorney, he can't talk about how he shot out a fugitive's van tire last week, even though he would like to discuss it. Good legal advice, I imagine. But I'm sorely disappointed. I'd love to hear his exciting tale, especially the part how he was on foot and used a handgun to shoot out a van's tire — in self defenseOr, then again, just maybe he is a more ordinary human, and kind of forgot, in all the excitement, that he actually shot that tire from a safer spot well off to the side of the van while just trying to stop the driver, and the financial bounty, from getting away."

"That could happen just because Rockwell is a determined bounty hunter, or maybe after he had indeed evaded a dangerously moving van and, in the seconds afterward — while still pumped up about it — lost all good judgment and fired at the tire to keep the man from getting away. That would still have been worth some bragging points at the next bounty hunter convention down at the pool hall. But there would be a problem: It isn't self defense if you shoot to stop a guy from getting away, no matter that you are mad at him or how much money you might lose if he escapes." MORE FROM THIS SOURCE.

News flash for Mr. Tom Lyons, Florida does not allow bounty hunters. The man that Mr. Tom Lyons identifies as a Bounty Hunter, Nathan Rockwell, is actually a state of Florida licensed bail bond agent his Florida License is #: P196258, his local bail bond business is called SARASOTA BAIL BONDS LLC at 729 N Lime Ave Sarasota, FL.  State of Florida licensed bail bond agents do not normally have "conventions in pool halls".

For the most part "Bounty Hunters" in the USA are not regulated, some states require that bounty hunters be licensed, other states require that bounty hunters register with them and some states, like Florida, prohibit bounty hunters entirely from making bail arrests.

All the bail bond agent needs to make an arrest is a copy of the "bail piece" (the paperwork indicating that the person is a fugitive) and, in some states, a certified copy of the bond. He or she doesn't need a warrant, can enter private property unannounced and doesn't have to read a fugitive his or her Miranda rights before making the arrest, because the perp has previously been arrested, read his rights, booked, jailed and gone before a Judge who approves and sets bail for the perp who then goes free prior to his Court date for trial. When the perp jumps bail all bets are off.

In Florida all bail jumpers are hunted by the bail bond companies. It was lobbied in Tallahassee to rid the state of all bounty hunters. Not only did they lobby against hunters, they made it a 3rd class felony for someone to come into the State to hunt and pick up a jumper from out of state if they are not licensed in the state where the bond is written.

FLORIDA Bounty Hunter Provisions. Florida does not allow bounty hunters. You must be a licensed bail bond agent who who pledges US currency as security for a bail bond [FS 648.25(7)].

In order to undertake bail in Florida, a person must have a license [AR 4-221.001, FS 648.26, 648.30]. Florida law specifies two kinds of bail bond agent:
(1) a limited surety agent, defined as a person appointed by an insurer to execute bail bonds [FS 648.25(6)],
(2) a professional bail bond agent, defined as a person who pledges US currency as security for a bail bond [FS 648.25(7)].

(2) No person shall represent himself or herself to be a bail enforcement agent, bounty hunter, or other similar title in [Florida].
(3) No person, other than a certified law enforcement officer, shall be authorized to apprehend, detain, or arrest a principal on a bond, wherever issued, unless that person is qualified, licensed, and appointed as provided in this chapter or licensed as a bail bond agent by the state where the bond was written [Florida].

Qualifications for License.
- an application submitted on forms prescribed by the Department of Insurance (DOI) [FS 648.34(1)],
- have complied with FS 648.355 and obtained a temporary license,
- be 18 years of age [FS 648.34(2)(a)],
- be a resident of Florida [FS 648.34(2)(b)],
- place of business must be located in a Florida county where records will be maintained and business actively conducted, accessible to the public during reasonable business hours [FS 648.34(2)(d)],
- of good character with no convictions on a felony, crime of moral turpitude, or crime punishable by 1 year or more [FS 648.34(2)(e)],
- passage of required examination (written [FS 648.38(1)-(10)]) [648.34(2)(f)],
- payment of fee for background checks and credit report [FS 648.34(3)],
- furnish photo and fingerprints with applications [FS 648.34(4)],
- completion of 14 hours of continuing education courses every two years [FS 648.385].
2) Professional bail bond agents have the same requirements as in FS 648.34, but in addition shall:
- file a rating plan proposed for use in writing bail bonds which must be approved by the DOI [FS 648.35(2)].

Can a law enforcement officer also be a bail bond agent? No. Florida Statutes §648.44 prohibits law enforcement officers, jailers, attorneys, employees of any jail, judges, or anyone having custody or control over prisoners from being a bail bond agent.

Can a bail bond agent use a bounty hunter to assist with performing apprehensions or pick-ups? No. Bounty hunters are not permitted in Florida. (See Florida Statutes §648.30).

Bill Warner Sarasota Private Investigator, SEX, CRIME, CHEATERS & TERRORISM at www.wbipi.com